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Gunmac

S&w 686 Sight Replacement Recommendations

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Gunmac   

I added a 686 to the collection this year. Like the gun but a little disappointed in the stock sights. I tend to loose the red/orange ramp under different lighting conditions. The best sights I have on any gun are the Dawson fiber optic /adjustible rear combination on the Glock 34.

Any recommendations for 686 sights? I have done a search and see for the 625 most like the SDM fiber optic front and Millet rear. Would that be the same for the 686? Also is this something I can install myself?

Primary use would be for IDPA competition.

Thanks,

Tom

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revchuck   

The problem (for me, anyway) is that the flat surface of the insert reflects light. A quick, cheap possibility is to serrate the existing plastic insert. A checkering file works best, but you could probably do it with a triangular file too. If it doesn't work out, you're no worse off.

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Joe4d   

Assuming the 686 has the same or similar setup to my 646. I ordered the factory V-Blade from smith and wesson along with a new sight bolt and nut (you break the adjusting bolt removing it) Most fiber optic fronts come in either .250 or .300. If you are reasonably handy you can install them yourself. Pick out the rear you want measure the front after zeroing with existing front sight. Another good rear sight option is the C&S fixed rear sight. Although their idea for a front isnt to my liking requiring a non reversable dovetail cut that looks terrible.

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hopalong   

Gunmac,

to answer your question about the comparison to the 625.

Yes the rear sights are the same and the millet is a complete replacement unit that you just screw off the old and insert the new.

Front sights I think are the same too on some but not sure so don't take my info too seriously without more digging.....but I do know the millet answer.

IF you are going to go with a Fiber optic I also suggest the SDM.......brownells or Midway is a source for them.

My 646 has the same ramped sight but no red insert.....just all black and is serrated I like it fine but I preferr black sights front and back. If you don't mind all black just get some sight black and cover it up as it is (cheap way out).

Many like the LPA, I have not seen it but it reminds me of a Millet from the pictures I've seen of it. The millet is hard to beat, and built like a tank as sights go (I dropped my 625 squarely on one and it did not move off its setting.

Hope that helps, Brownells or Midway is your source for the Millet too.

Hopalong

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Keith   
I prefer the EGW or SDM front with the LPA rear. For IDPA, I use night sights

Regards,

Which night sights do you use and would you happen to have a pic?

I also don't like the sights on my 686 but can't decide what to change to.

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revchuck   

Keith - Meprolight makes a set that includes a replacement insert for the front and a replacement rear blade.

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Keith   
Keith - Meprolight makes a set that includes a replacement insert for the front and a replacement rear blade.

Thanks. I did check them out but didn't know if it was a completely new front sight or not and nobody will have any on their shelf around here that I could look at.

How's the new front insert held in place then?

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revchuck   

Keith - Meprolight makes a set that includes a replacement insert for the front and a replacement rear blade.

Thanks. I did check them out but didn't know if it was a completely new front sight or not and nobody will have any on their shelf around here that I could look at.

How's the new front insert held in place then?

I haven't used it, but I've heard they give you some black loctite for it.

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Gunmac   

Okay so if I go with the SDM front and Millet or LPA rear will that impact on the Blade Tech holster I already have for the stock sights? I remember when I bought my Blade Tech holster for the Glock 34 (Dawson precision FO) they told me the holster needed to be made to fit the taller front sight.

I also don't understand the need for night sights for a competition gun. I have Meprolights on my GP100 since this is my "home defense" equipment. I find the dot arrangement harder to use in day light than the FO/black rear set up on the Glock.

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Gunmac   

I am ready to order the SDM sights for the 686. A few questions -

.250 or .300 inches? I would like to keep the same holster for the 686 so I was leaning toward the .300 inches.

What size drift punch is needed to remove the front sight?

Do the SDM sights come pre drilled? If not should I use the same size drill as the drift punch or something different?

Thanks,

Tom

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mwx40x40   
I am ready to order the SDM sights for the 686. A few questions -

.250 or .300 inches? I would like to keep the same holster for the 686 so I was leaning toward the .300 inches.

What size drift punch is needed to remove the front sight?

Do the SDM sights come pre drilled? If not should I use the same size drill as the drift punch or something different?

Thanks,

Tom

Check with Kenny at Speed Shooter Specialities . He has a new SDM Rear with matching Fiber Optic front to sale as a package deal. He is listed in the dealer section of the forum

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I am ready to order the SDM sights for the 686. A few questions -

.250 or .300 inches? I would like to keep the same holster for the 686 so I was leaning toward the .300 inches.

What size drift punch is needed to remove the front sight?

Do the SDM sights come pre drilled? If not should I use the same size drill as the drift punch or something different?

Thanks,

Tom

Check with Kenny at Speed Shooter Specialities . He has a new SDM Rear with matching Fiber Optic front to sale as a package deal. He is listed in the dealer section of the forum

+1, he also carries spare front sight pins. Get one and an oversize pin in case your hand is not steady when you drill.

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On my 686-5 the fr. sight is .250 tall & is pined. It was changed to a .250 SDM. The -5 is the first one that has a pined ft. sight that can be changed. If yours is a LATE - # it will probably be the DX/ CLASSIC which is a spring loaded unit (has pin in frame as well) but the pin doesn't hold the sight. I don't know when the spring loaded ones started (-#). If in doubt, check w/ Smith, they will tell you over the phone. The hole is drilled with a .055" bit, I think it is a # 54 bit. DON'T use a 1/16" punch to remove pin, get the correct one from Brownells, they have the drill bits as well. The SDM .250 comes UNDRILLED. I have not sighted it in since I changed the sight, but it should be very close as that is the same tall as the original. The rear is OE w/white outline. Good luck.

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Carmoney   

Couple other tips:

Mark the replacement sight on both sides, then drill the sight partially through from each sides until your holes meet in the middle, to ensure your hole doesn't drift off-track.

For an inexpensive small drift punch for the front sight pin, you can buy a set of those little eyeglass screwdrivers (I found some at Menards for $1 per set!), pick one of the smaller ones and grind the tip off flat.

Use red loctite when reinstalling the front sight. It takes out the wiggle if you happen to oversize the hole a little.

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Gunmac   

Sorry to keep bringing this thread back to life.

I installed the SDM FO with the Millet rear. Those SDM are bright!! In fact they are so bright I have a difficult time picking up the top of the sight which is costing me accuracy.

The Dillon Precision sights on my Glock have a much smaller FO element which allows me to pick up the sight quickly and use the top of the front sight to aim.

Are most of you using the FO only to aim or can you still see the top of the front sight to align the front and rear ?

Thanks,

Tom

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You might try this. I found the same problem with the FO front sight in full sun. I removed the fiber optic insert and that left a hole through the front sight. I like it better in full sun. If you are shooting a white plate or popper you will see a white spot in the front sight where the hole is located. You still get the full front sight picture of a black rear and a black front but the hole shows the color of what the front sight is on at the time. On a brown target you have a brown spot in the front sight.

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Looking from the top of the sight, apply black magic marker to part of the fiber rod. I usually black out half to 2/3 of the SDM fiber. Then the dot is subdued and doesn't wash out the top of the sight. To see how much you want to black out, just put your finger over the top of the rod and move it back and forth.

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